Locals take 'souvenirs' from Crooked House pub days after mystery fire that destroyed building

10 August 2023, 13:40

Locals have taken 'souvenirs' from the rubble
Locals have taken 'souvenirs' from the rubble. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Locals have taken souvenirs from the Crooked House pub days after a mystery fire destroyed the building.

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The 18th-century building, known as Britain's wonkiest pub, was damaged by a fire before swiftly being taken down by a digger.

Its destruction has outraged locals as police continue to investigate the blaze. They said on Wednesday they were treating it as arson.

Locals are now fighting to protect the building, with social media groups calling for the pub to be rebuilt. But others have taken the opportunity to take antiques from the rubble.

One person posted on Facebook: "I was saddened to see people taking ‘souvenirs’ from the site.

"Maybe some of these bricks/signs etc could be taken to the Black Country Living Museum for safe keeping.

"Perhaps in the form of an exhibition as a tribute to the pub. At least they would be in one place."

Read more: Couple who bought Crooked House weeks before it was destroyed previously stripped out other village's only pub

Read more: Fire at Britain's 'wonkiest' pub being treated as arson as specialist sniffer dog sent to examine rubble

Mourners gather at rubble of Crooked House to lament pub’s destruction

A second person echoed the post saying: "PLEASE STOP taking anything away from the demolition site.

"It’s giving out the wrong image when on national news we see people climbing over the rubble picking up and taking away bits and pieces as a souvenir.

"This will stop people taking this criminal destruction and public desire to rebuild seriously.

"If you are taking souvenirs from the site, it makes me question your motivation to be at the site at all.

"It can’t be rebuilt if parts of it are being removed. PLEASE STOP."

Some 30 firefighters were needed to tackle the blaze at the pub in Himley, near Dudley in the West Midlands, on Saturday evening and it was demolished two days later.

West Midlands police said in a statement: "Our investigation into a fire at the Crooked House on Himley Road last Saturday continues as we try to understand the circumstances, which we are now treating as arson."

Carly Taylor is seen living the high life in social media posts
Carly Taylor is seen living the high life in social media posts. Picture: Social media

Carly Taylor, 34, and husband Adam recently bought the Crooked House, which was loved for its slanted interior.

Adam Taylor also owns the Sarah Mansfield Country Inn, in Willey, five miles from their home, which was allegedly gutted, according to The Times.

There is no suggestion that the Taylors are accused of any wrongdoing.

Staffordshire Police's Detective Chief Superintendent Tom Chisholm said: "We understand the significance of this much-loved building, and the upset and anger felt by many, so want to reassure you we're doing all we can to understand more about what happened and who was responsible.

"There is lots of misinformation circulating within communities and online and this is unhelpful. We're trying to provide accurate and timely updates, but as I am sure you can appreciate there is a lot of work and liaison with a number of partners which needs to be completed, and this takes time.

"There are also certain things that police and fire do not have the powers to deal with, the decision around partial demolition of the building, for example, when the scene was handed back to the owner."

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